“We, the People of the State of California, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, in order to secure and perpetuate its blessings, do establish this Constitution.”
So begins California’s Constitution.
Let’s read on.
Article I, Section 1 of that same Constitution states: “All people are by nature free and independent and have inalienable rights. Among these are enjoying and defending life and liberty, acquiring, possessing, and protecting property, and pursuing and obtaining safety, happiness, and privacy.”
Does this sound AT ALL like the state we currently live in?
Every elected official – including me – has to recite an oath of office in which we swear that we “will support and defend” and “bear true faith and allegiance” to the Constitutions of the United States and California.
While I wonder how many of our elected officials have actually read the documents to which they swear to support and defend, I worry more about the ones who read the CA Constitution’s Preamble and first section and consciously ignore or undermine their principles.
Those people not only violate their oaths of office, but ignore our very founding. A founding based on the belief that government exists only by the consent of the governed. A founding based on the idea that leaders swear oaths to an idea, not to a leader or nation, but to a Constitution and its principles.
When we allow elected officials to breach these principles for the sake of expediency or fear, and allow our rights – those given by Almighty God – to be trampled underfoot of a proclaimed emergency, then we allow the very core of our national founding to be violated.
Charles de Montesquieu, a philosopher on whom our Founding Fathers relied, once wrote: “When legislative power is united with executive power in a single person or in a single body of the magistracy, there is no liberty, because one can fear that the same monarch or senate that makes tyrannical laws will execute them tyrannically.”
That warning – sounded nearly three centuries ago – still rings true today.
End the Emergency.
Councilman Will O’Neill represents District 7 on the Newport Beach City Council.